Gov. Noem Signs Executive Order Banning TikTok

Gov. Noem Signs Executive Order Banning TikTok

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2022-10, which bans the Chinese social media platform TikTok for state government agencies, employees, and contractors using state devices. This order is in response to the growing national security threat posed by TikTok due to its data gathering operations on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”

The order takes effect immediately and would apply to employees and agencies of the State of South Dakota, including persons and entities who contract with the state, commissions, and authorities or agents thereof. The order prohibits downloading or using the TikTok application or visiting the website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of internet connectivity.

“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,” continued Governor Noem.

###

After dumping hundreds of thousands into primary elections, Convention of States coming back to Pierre with their hand out. Good luck with that one.

After dumping hundreds of thousands into state elections with highly negative advertising that didn’t ring true in many cases, the Convention of States has announced that they are coming to the State Capitol with their hat in hand, asking for legislation:

Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum will return to the South Dakota Capitol in December, marking his second trip to Pierre this year.

The Convention of States advocacy group, which is pushing for South Dakota to join 19 other states in calling for a constitutional convention, announced Monday morning that Santorum will make remarks from the Capitol Visitor Center on Dec. 6 ahead of Gov. Kristi Noem’s annual budget address.

Read the entire story here (Subscription required).

If you don’t recall the story from a few months ago…

The track record of the convention group’s spending is spotty. In South Dakota, where the group and its affiliates spent more than $200,000 targeting four state Senate seats, Duvall was the only one of its targets to lose. And the challenger who beat her, Jim Mehlhaff, said in an interview that he thinks the group’s intervention hurt him.

“I didn’t appreciate the negative tone of their mailers. It probably cost me some votes,” said Mehlhaff, a former member of Pierre’s city commission who had his own base of support in the district before the intervention of Convention of States. “This is South Dakota. People don’t like negative campaigns.”

Read that here.  Also very good reading on their assault on democracy here.

This group went scorched earth in the legislative primaries, and now are coming back with hat in hand asking for legislation?

I’m sure that’s going to go well for them.  Good luck with that one. Especially in the State Senate.

I’m sure that’s going to go well. Incoming SOS will push to hand-count all ballots

Reports are surfacing this morning that incoming Secretary of State Monae Johnson will actually be making efforts to ban machine tabulations of election ballots as part of her efforts as the state’s chief election official.

Changes like an audit of every precinct in South Dakota and a state-level push to convince county auditors to hand-count all ballots. She’s also suggesting that lawmakers consider barring the use of tabulator machines altogether.

and..

“I had people reaching out to me saying ‘no’ because anything can be hacked,” Johnson said. “That was the biggest thing. The people reaching out to me were IT people, military people.”

Johnson did not name the IT and military sources who expressed those concerns, but campaign manager Gretchen Weible did point to sources for the hacking claims.

and..

Johnson advisor Rick Weible said the issue in Tripp County wasn’t hand-counting ballots, but that the people counting those ballots grew tired. A fine-tuned process for hand counts would alleviate fatigue-related problems, he said.

Read the entire story here.

Oh my.  I’m sure this is going to go well.

Especially when 90% of the state’s county Auditors show up at a legislative hearing and question the sanity of legislators for even considering the notion of going back to hand counts.

Guest Column: Which one of the four would you vote for by State Rep. Tim Goodwin

Which one of the four would you vote for?
by State Rep. Tim Goodwin

Greetings!  Let’s start off with a big “Whew!” as the election is over.  Some states are still tabulating which makes no sense to me.  In South Dakota we do not have our voting machines hooked up to the internet, so it is IMPOSSIBLE to hack the voting machines.  A hard copy of the ballot is kept on hand and can be audited at any time.  The voting machines are just a faster automated way of tabulating the votes.

Listed are four areas we could implement the extra revenue South Dakota is realizing, basically from a booming economy.  Of course, the conservative point of view is that if extra taxes are collected over and above what was budgeted, the excess tax should go back to the taxpayers.  The other view is to grow government.  So, here are the 4 areas where we could use the extra tax dollars.

  1. Eliminate tax on groceries.
  2. Eliminate video lottery.
  3. Pay for Medicaid expansion.
  4. Reduce home assessment values by $100 thousand.

Let’s go through each one, shall we?

  1. Eliminate tax on groceries.  Some call this food tax, but that would include restaurants.  The estimated $100 million is counting only groceries.  One question I always ask when some group approaches me about eliminating grocery tax is, “Why do you want to do this?”  The answer I’ve always received was, “because of the poor people.”  OK, fair enough.  However, poor people don’t pay tax on groceries, and for that matter, get their groceries for free via food stamps, now called EBT cards.
  2. Eliminate video lottery. Yep, the video lottery casinos on every corner.  Not Deadwood.  Just the casinos that have video lottery machines.  The state gets 50% of the profit and the proprietor gets the remaining 50%.  I just have a hard time with our state running on losses from those who can least afford it.  That being those addicted to video lottery.  This is dirty money (in my opinion) and could be eliminated with this extra revenue.
  3. Pay for Medicaid expansion. Yep, this was a ballot measure that passed in the General Election.  Initially, there are federal funds, but eventually, as early as next year, the federal government is going to pull the rug out from under the states, making each state responsible for funding Medicaid expansion.
  4. Reduce home assessment values by $100 thousand. This, again, is about $100 million.  I included this one in here because of the Summer Study on Property Tax.  The committee came up with this solution.  I personally would like to eliminate Property Tax totally with a usage tax, but that’s an article by itself in the future.

The 50-dollar question is, “If it was up to you, which one of the four would you vote for?”  You can email me at [email protected].  Just pick 1, 2, 3, or 4.  If you want to explain your reasoning, that would be great, but not necessary.

To the citizens of South Dakota and to the men and women in uniform, in honor of all who served, in respectful memory of all who fell, and in great appreciation to those who serve today, Thank You, for giving me the opportunity to represent you.

Representative Tim R. Goodwin
District 30
Majority Whip
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired

Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Thanking Emergency Responders

Thanking Emergency Responders
By: Governor Kristi Noem
November 28, 2022 

For most of us, we hope to never need help from emergency responders. But when our darkest moments come, we depend on them to be there for us. And they answer the call. They put their lives on the line to help others every day. Wherever you live – whatever and wherever your emergency may be –every South Dakotan can be taken care of in an emergency.

I have taken action to support our emergency responders by making it easier to do their job and providing funding when necessary.

We have equipped our emergency responders with telehealth capabilities that will allow patients to get better treatment faster. We just recently announced a new partnership with Avel eCare to put these new services into practice, and we are excited about the possibilities. Together with Avel eCare, we are calling the new initiative “Telemedicine in Motion.”

This initiative will connect patients with physician and nurse professionals who can assist in assessment, treatment, and transfer to an appropriate facility. And the strong level of connectivity means that these services will help South Dakotans in even the most remote corners of our state.

Last year, we funded new LIFEPAKs for emergency responders across the state, providing $11.6 million to purchase state-of-the-art equipment that will literally save lives in a time of crisis. We are also providing training, distribution, implementation, and installation of this equipment to make sure that our first responders can put it to good use when they help folks in their communities. And we were able to secure these life-saving devices at a savings of $9.7 million to taxpayers. We always find ways to be responsible stewards of taxpayer money, even when we need to make important purchases.

We are also working on a comprehensive analysis of our state’s EMS resources so that we can plan for where our needs will be in the future. My Department of Health will have more to announce about that in the near future.

We will continue to support South Dakota’s firefighters. We have helped provide crucial training resources that will keep them well-prepared to serve our communities. And we have provided new equipment to South Dakota Wildland Fire to handle some of the bigger wildfires that can pose a threat, particularly in the Black Hills. If you are looking to give this holiday season, your local volunteer fire department is always a good investment.

We will also continue to emphasize our support and respect for law enforcement. I am proud to live in a state that places such a high priority on defending law enforcement officers – not defunding them. And we will continue to set that example for the rest of the nation.

We will continue to thank our emergency responders for everything they do to keep us safe. Give thanks for their service this holiday season – and try not to do anything that will require them to come save you!

###

South Dakota GFP proposing rule amendment to allow pets in cabins at State Campgrounds.

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks provided notice via the SD Register this morning that on December 8th they will be having a hearing to amend their rules to allow pets at their indoor facilities:

12-08-22 – Department of Game, Fish and Parks: Amend rules to allow people staying in a cabin, lodge, or suite within a state park to have their pet inside the facility during their stay; define what constitutes a pet; and establish a fee for pets that stay at cabins, lodges, or suites; 49 SDR 53, November 21, 2022.

According to existing Administrative rules, pets had previously been banned, with the exception of service animals..

41:03:01:13.  Pet prohibitions. A person may not allow or possess any pet in the state park system except as provided in this section:

(6)  The person may not allow or possess any pet inside enclosed public buildings managed by the department in any state park, recreation area, nature area, or lakeside use area except a person who requires the aid of a service animal or a person who has received prior approval of the park manager;

Read that here.

That’s a huge shift in policy which has been running under the radar.

Working in the insurance claim end of the hospitality industry as my day job, there’s good with it, (such as making it easier for employees to comply with federal housing and disability laws, by not having to figure out what constitutes a legitimate service animal, versus what constitutes an emotional support animal). And there are issues that may be challenges.

Pets biting people and each other generate more insurance claims than people think. And regardless of fault, the facility will get drug into it. Trust me on this.

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: The IRS Needs Accountability and Improvement

The IRS Needs Accountability and Improvement

By Sen. John Thune

If there is a simpler and more effective way of doing something, that’s how it should be done. Republicans put this principle into practice five years ago with our pro-growth tax reform that simplified the tax code, lowered rates, and reduced South Dakotans’ tax bills. The fact that most South Dakotans were able to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks while the federal government has collected record-high revenues helps prove that the Republican plan worked.

President Biden and congressional Democrats have pursued a different approach, one that is all but certain to add new complexity and burdens for taxpayers, especially their experience with the IRS. Democrats recently passed the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act,” which included an unprecedented and unnecessary $80 billion in additional funding for the IRS, an amount six times greater than the agency’s current budget. Democrats intend to use some of the funds to hire as many as 87,000 new IRS employees.

Although there are a number of ways to make the IRS more efficient and accountable, the agency’s recent influx of cash is unlikely to do so given that more than half of the funding is directed toward enforcement, including audits, and only four percent goes toward improving customer service. If you made one of the 250 million phone calls to the IRS that employees failed to answer last year, or if you dealt with a delayed refund from the agency, you probably agree a stronger emphasis on customer service is warranted.

The lack of accountability for recent mismanagement of taxpayer data at the IRS is also greatly concerning. In the last two years alone, the IRS has inadvertently posted confidential information from 120,000 taxpayers on its website, destroyed 30 million unprocessed tax documents, and had troves of private tax information end up in the hands of the left-leaning news site ProPublica. These incidents are only a part of the mismanagement that has helped define the IRS in recent years, punctuated by little to no accountability from Democrats in Congress or the White House.

I’m skeptical that a supersized IRS won’t exacerbate many of these problems while also increasing audits of middle-income Americans and small business owners. For these reasons, I recently introduced legislation with my Republican colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee to give Congress a direct say in how these funds are used. My bill freezes access to the funds – other than those dedicated to taxpayer services – until the IRS submits a coherent plan to Congress, which would be empowered to reject it. If the agency fails to meet deadlines, funding will be automatically rescinded. If there’s one way to make a federal agency shape up, it’s by tightening its purse strings.

Common-sense principles like efficiency, accountability, and responsiveness should guide improvements for taxpayers. To this end, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and I crafted a bill that would require the IRS to meet certain customer service standards before the agency can hire new enforcement agents with these funds. And I worked with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) on a bill to protect taxpayers earning less than $400,000 per year from increased audits. Without the protection of law, ramped-up audits are sure to hit small businesses and middle-income taxpayers.

My Republican colleagues and I share a firm but simple view that the IRS needs to do better, not grow bigger. I will continue working to make measurable improvements to the IRS, hold the agency accountable for its actions, and ensure South Dakotans are able to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks without undue interference from bureaucratic red tape.   

###

Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: A Full Table

Sioux Falls Vietnam Veteran Pinning Ceremony for 61 Vietnam Veterans

November is a month associated with many things—the last of our beautiful fall foliage, winter weather sets in, honoring our veterans, and celebrating Thanksgiving. At Thanksgiving, we gather around the table and celebrate things we’re grateful for like our home, safety, freedoms, and our loved ones.

November is also National Adoption Month. During Thanksgiving, the blessing of adoption hits home for some even moreso. As families sit down at a table full of food, they look around at a table full of the ones they love, and some are present due to the blessing of adoption.

This year, I had the privilege of honoring the Enos family who were named South Dakota’s Angels in Adoption honorees. The Enos family has six children, three of whom joined their family through adoption. Adoption is a blessing to both the children and the families – the Enos family story is no different. I am proud to support families like the Enos, and I’m truly thankful for what they have chosen to do.

For those who have an empty seat at the table, we remember the servicemen and women who are defending our freedoms. We are thankful for these individuals every day of the year as they serve, protecting us and our country.

I am thankful for my family, my wife and sons, friends, the great state of South Dakota, chocolate chip cookies, and the opportunity to serve in Congress for another term. Whether your table is surrounded by loved ones or they are there in spirit, I hope your home is filled with love and thankfulness. As Americans, we have much to be grateful for.


###

Release: Deadrick named Deputy Secretary of State

Deadrick named Deputy Secretary of State


(Rapid City, SD) – South Dakota Secretary of State-elect Monae Johnson announced today that Thomas J. Deadrick will be joining her office as Deputy Secretary of State. “As an attorney, former legislator, and former deputy, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position that will be invaluable to me. Tom has a long history of service to our state and the people of South Dakota, and I am thrilled to have him as part of my team,” Johnson said. Deadrick previously served as Deputy of Business Services from 2015-2018 under former Secretary of State Shantel Krebs.

A graduate of Platte High School, Deadrick earned a Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University and holds a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Loyola University School of Dentistry, Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota School of Law. He practiced dentistry in Philip, SD for five years before transitioning to law. He practiced law in Philip and Parker, SD and served as state’s attorney in Turner and Charles Mix counties. From 1995-2014, he operated Deadrick Law Office and Platte Title Company in Platte. A Republican, Deadrick served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2003-2010 and was Speaker of the House from 2007-2008. Since 2019, he has worked as an Assistant Attorney General for South Dakota. Deadrick and his wife, Cindy, have two grown daughters and reside in Pierre.

South Dakota House posts committee assignments

Hugh Bartels, the upcoming Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives announced tonight the  committee assignments for the next term of the state House of Representatives.

One thing noted to me by members of leadership were that their goalwas to not be punitive, but to speak with a unified voice, fairly representing the members of the House of Representatives. An example of that would be the committee leadership positions that were provided to Jon Hansen, who lost the race for Speaker of the House.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Roger Chase (Chair)

Marty Overweg (Vice Chair)

James D. Wangsness

Stephanie Sauder

Drew Peterson

Trish Ladner

Lynn Schneider

Tamara St. John

Karla J. Lems

Randy Gross

John Sjaarda

Julie K. Auch

Oren L. Lesmeister

 

Appropriations

Mike Derby (Chair)

Tony Venhuizen (Vice Chair)

Ernie Otten

Lance R. Koth

Dennis Krull

Chris Karr

John Mills

Chris Kassin

Linda K. Duba

 

Commerce and Energy

Mike Weisgram (Chair)

Carl E. Perry (Vice Chair)

Amber Arlint

Neal Pinnow

Joe Donnell

Jessica Bahmuller

Lynn Schneider

William Shorma

Steve Duffy

Byron I. Callies

Ben Krohmer

Tina L. Mulally

Kameron Nelson

 

Education

Mike Stevens (Chair)

Fred Deutsch (Vice Chair)

Roger DeGroot

Amber Arlint

Tim Reisch

Scott Moore

Mellissa Heermann

Tyler Tordsen

Stephanie Sauder

Byron I. Callies

Brian Mulder

Scott Odenbach

Bethany Soye

Phil Jensen

Eric E. Emery

 

Government Operations and Audit

Ernie Otten (Chair)

Hugh M. Bartels (Vice Chair)

Drew Peterson

Tim Reisch

Linda K. Duba

 

Health and Human Services

Kevin D. Jensen (Chair)

Taylor Rehfeldt (Vice Chair)

Fred Deutsch

Mellissa Heermann

Brian Mulder

Scott Moore

Joe Donnell

Gary L. Cammack

Mike Weisgram

Brandei Schaefbauer

David Kull

Kameron Nelson

Erin Healy

 

Judiciary

Jon Hansen (Chair)

Mike Stevens (Vice Chair)

Mary J. Fitzgerald

David Kull

Tamara St. John

Rebecca Reimer

Curt Massie

Kenneth Teunissen

Tim Reisch

Tyler Tordsen

Scott Odenbach

Bethany Soye

Kadyn Wittman

 

Legislative Procedure

Hugh M. Bartels (Chair)

Mike Stevens (Vice Chair)

Will Mortenson

Taylor Rehfeldt

Gary L. Cammack

Tony Venhuizen

Erin Healy

 

Local Government

Becky J. Drury (Chair)

Mary J. Fitzgerald (Vice Chair)

Jess Olson

Jessica Bahmuller

Greg Jamison

Aaron Aylward

Sue Peterson

John Sjaarda

Karla J. Lems

Julie K. Auch

Marty Overweg

Trish Ladner

Kadyn Wittman

 

Military and Veterans Affairs

Tim Reisch (Chair)

Kenneth Teunissen (Vice Chair)

Stephanie Sauder

Byron I. Callies

Becky J. Drury

Fred Deutsch

Randy Gross

Scott Moore

William Shorma

James D. Wangsness

Julie K. Auch

Aaron Aylward

Peri Pourier

 

Retirement Laws

Hugh M. Bartels (Chair)

Mike Weisgram (Vice Chair)

Carl E. Perry

Neal Pinnow

Linda K. Duba

 

Rules Review

Jon Hansen

Roger DeGroot

Erin Healy

 

State Affairs

Will Mortenson (Chair)

Taylor Rehfeldt (Vice Chair)

Hugh M. Bartels

Rocky Blare

Kirk Chaffee

Becky J. Drury

James D. Wangsness

Roger Chase

Rebecca Reimer

Jon Hansen

Gary L. Cammack

Oren L. Lesmeister

Erin Healy

 

Taxation

Kirk Chaffee (Chair)

Jess Olson (Vice Chair)

Aaron Aylward

Carl E. Perry

Sue Peterson

Roger DeGroot

Neal Pinnow

Curt Massie

Liz May

Greg Jamison

Tony Randolph

Phil Jensen

Peri Pourier

 

Transportation

Rocky Blare (Chair)

Randy Gross (Vice Chair)

William Shorma

Kevin D. Jensen

Drew Peterson

Tony Randolph

Ben Krohmer

Steve Duffy

Kenneth Teunissen

Brandei Schaefbauer

Liz May

Tina L. Mulally

Eric E. Emery

 

State-Tribal Relations

Tamara St. John (Co-Chair)

Joe Donnell

Will Mortenson

Tyler Tordsen

Peri Pourier